'Tis the season of pumpkin carving, a favorite Halloween tradition. Carve in a cat, a funny face, or whatever your heart desires, but don't be spooked by the gunk inside. Get your hands dirty and save the most underrated part of a pumpkin– the seeds. Here's what to do with the seeds once you've done the dirty work. 

For every edible option listed, the trick is to start by removing the seeds from the middle and placing them into a bowl. Then, proceed to run the bowl under cold water and remove the larger pieces of pumpkin gunk. Repeat this two-three times before filling the bowl with hot water where the seeds should rise to the top and all the extra gunk to the bottom. Drain the seeds into a colander and proceed to spreading them out on a cookie sheet.

1. Roasted Savory Seeds

pumpkin seeds, sesame seed, vegetable, cereal
Alyssa Robertson

To alternate between your favorite chocolate bar, obviously. This linked recipe has ideas like just plain salted ones or mixes as creative as Spanish-style seeds with smoked paprika and slivered almonds. 

2. Maryland Style Old Bay Pumpkin Seeds

Spice up your life with these seeds. If you've never had Old Bay, it's a spice mix that makes anything taste better. This recipe is straight from the Old Bay website, so obviously it's guaranteed by them (and every Maryland citizen) to be delicious. This method adds both Old Bay and sugar to pumpkin seeds for those who seek a sweet and savory mix.  

3. Use Them as a General Nut Alternative

vegetable, herb
Parisa Soraya

This is a tip for all of you out there with severe nut allergies who usually can't enjoy things like peanut butter, pesto and mole sauce.  Try the linked recipes as alternatives to nut filled foods and watch as pumpkin seeds become your new best friend.  

4. Add Them to Homemade Granola

granola, muesli, cereal, cranberry
Kate Drapkin

Looking to add some more crunch and pep to your morning? Add roasted pumpkin seeds to your usual oat mix. Even if you have store bought granola, adding the pepitas (green seeds) inside the pumpkin seeds is a delicious way to reach new heights in your breakfast game. Sadly, pepitas are usually very hard to get out of Halloween pumpkin seeds and are grown in other pumpkin types. I recommend picking up a container at your local grocery store. 

5. Garnish Soups and Salads

vegetable, sweet, cream, soup
Sarah Silbiger

If you run a food insta and are looking for that final garnish to get that perfect food pic (we all know phones eat first), just add some pumpkin seeds. They look beautiful on fall soups like butternut squash or sprinkled over a beet and goat cheese salad. 

6. Make Sweet and Spicy Pepitas Popcorn Balls

Is it Halloween season? Are you tired of the huge popcorn balls that come pre-packaged and looking to step up your foodie game? Become a Halloween Allstar and make your own popcorn balls with the leftover pumpkin seeds from your carving party.  

7. Make Fall-Themed Crafts 

Whether you're a babysitter, parent, teacher, or maybe just a millennial who's a kid at heart, pumpkin seeds are a great, creative addition to art pieces. Use them as flower petals, as the feathers of a turkey, or dye them different colors to make fall tree leaves. Search pumpkin seed art on Pinterest and let your mind be blown.

8. Use Them to Get a Good Night Sleep

napping, nap, sleep, sleeping, pillow, blanket, bed, tea, beer, cake
Jocelyn Hsu

Pumpkin seeds have a significant amount of tryptophan, an amino acid that the body eventually converts to melatonin, which is the hormone that makes you fall asleep. If you watched too many horror movies this Halloween season, eat some of the roasted pumpkin seeds you made before bed. Have less nightmares about the clown from It and spend more time dreaming of candy corn.  

9. Prevent and Treat Diabetes

Kaitlyn Mulligan

Pumpkin seed oil has been proven to be a great supplement for people with diabetes. The seed's oil has been found to improve insulin resistance and glucose tolerance. Pumpkin seeds also have healthy unsaturated fatty acids that protect the liver from diabetic complications. There are many scientifically proven health reasons to eat pumpkin seeds, which is just another reason to save them out of your pumpkins.  

10. Grow Your Own Pumpkins

pumpkin, pasture, vegetable, gourd, squash
Jodi Graf

If you have a green thumb, save the seeds from your pumpkins and grow your own next year. Have a pumpkin patch in your own backyard so you don't even have to leave the house for your annual fall photo shoot. Seeds from store bought pumpkins are not usually the right kind, so ask your local farmer for the hybrid ones. If you're interested in this endeavor, here's a guide to growing a successful personal pumpkin patch.

Basically pumpkin seeds are the new coconut oil– you can use them for cooking, they have tons of health benefits, and they're even good for crafting. No need to be spooked by pumpkin innards this Halloween, beware the neighbor only giving out banana Laffy Taffy instead.